MBTA joins global fight against transit sexual harassment

MBTA Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O'Connor speaking on the MBTA's partnership with the Global Guardian effort. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
MBTA Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor speaking on the MBTA’s partnership with the Global Guardian effort.
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Fenway Health, Hollaback! Boston and the MBTA are joining a transatlantic effort to call attention and respond to sexual harassment and assault on public transit.

Global Guardian expands on the T’s 2008 crackdown on sexual assault and harassment. In this first year of what is expected to be a growing annual effort, police in London, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. will also participate in the operation.

“We want people to know that we care and take very seriously these crimes and that all people should feel safe reporting them to transit police. We will follow up and do investigations,” said Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor.

In 2013, there were 46 reported assaults on the MBTA, according to O’Connor. So far this year, there have been 14 reports, but BARCC Executive Director Gina Scaramella said she anticipates more people will come forward as public awareness is stirred.

Plain clothed and uniformed T Police will be providing flyers to riders this week with information to download onto mobile devices.

Cara Presley-Kimball of the Violence Recovery program at Fenway Health, said that local partners are supportive of addressing harassment and violence that is targeted specifically at LGBT people, and  Scaramella pointed to a notorious MBTA upskirting incident as a demonstration of how everyone has a role to play.

“In that case, it was the riders who let the police know that they observed an offender taking upskirt photos of women on public transportation,” Scaramella said.

Kate Ziegler of Hollaback! Boston also pointed to the need for bystander involvement in preventing incidents of sexual harassment.

“We recognize the need for victims and bystanders alike to be able to speak about their experiences to both law enforcement and with other members of the community, however they are most comfortable,” said said Ziegler.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…